Hardscape North America 2019 conference sessions announced

Hardscape North America announced its seven conference session speakers and topics to be held during the 2019 Hardscape North America. This year’s sessions cover industry hot topics including workforce development and attracting talent, focusing on customer experience that includes women as dominant customers and the always-relevant project estimating skills.

Each conference session lasts an hour and 15 minutes and is approved for Certified Concrete Paver Installer and NCMA SRW Installer continuing education (CE) hours.

The VIP Pass is available again this year and will give contractors access to all seven conference sessions, as well as the six hardscape demonstrations, for a 50-percent discount. The cost for the VIP Pass is $229 or $189 for ICPI/BIA/NCMA members. A la carte tickets for the conference sessions are $65 per session.

In addition, an in-depth business management session has been added to the schedule for 2019. In this day-long workshop, industry expert Jerry Gaeta will address the fundamentals of owning and operating a successful hardscape business. It will be held at the Hyatt Regency Downtown, HNA’s host hotel. The early bird fee for this session is $199 until Sept. 5, and $219 thereafter. For ICPI/NCMA/BIA Members: $169 until Sept. 5, and $189 thereafter.

“We are thrilled with our schedule of presenters this year,” said Charles McGrath, executive director of the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI). “They are definitely the best of the best and the topics are uniquely and directly relevant to our industry. Hardscape contractors will gain so much knowledge from this year’s education sessions.”


Conference and business management session schedule:



Tuesday, Oct. 15

NEW: In-depth business management session

5 Keys to Business Management

9:00 AM – 3:30 p.m.

Jerry Gaeta

(not included with VIP Pass)


Are you a new business owner or an established business that’s looking to become more profitable? Learn the fundamentals of owning and operating a successful hardscape business! This session will cover the 5 things every business owner must do to ensure success:

1) Developing a business plan

2) Financial management

3) Estimating

4) Project scheduling

5) Resource management



Wednesday, Oct. 16


Estimating Hardscape Projects with Confidence

12:00 – 1:15 p.m.

Jerry Gaeta

You can’t afford NOT to know your cost of doing business! Otherwise, you may be selling your work for less than it costs to perform it. The price that other trades and services charge for their work continually goes up, but have your rates and prices done the same? You can no longer hope to become more profitable by guesswork and luck. Jerry Gaeta will demonstrate the importance of an estimating strategy and show you how to develop and implement the strategy to become profitable and stable – to ensure your company’s survival – no matter the size of the business.


Growing Your Hardscape Company 535% Using Today’s Tech Tools

1:45 – 3:00 p.m.

Susan Frew

By delighting its customers, Susan Frew’s contracting business is projected to reach $3 million in revenue this year, up from $179,000 in 2012. The company accomplished this growth using a strategic, laser-focused marketing plan and “12 Points of Love” with its customers. Come and learn the “secret sauce” … and how you can apply it in your business today. Susan will give you step-by-step instructions for capturing reviews, delighting your customers and going above and beyond to create RAVING FANS (and higher sales)! Learn the “how to” for achieving this in any company!


Manage, Motivate & Prepare Your Hardscape Crew for Success

5:00 – 6:15 p.m.

Jerry Gaeta

Today’s hardscape marketplace is very competitive and driven by price. The performance and efficiency of your field production is an advantage for securing contracts and profit. Are you preparing your crews to ensure smooth and profitable projects or are you an industrial babysitter? Are you helping them succeed or setting them up for failure? These answers are critical for the future of your company. Jerry Gaeta will explain the systems and steps that will prepare your crews for success. Learn the information and planning needed for your crew to understand the scope of the work, as well as how to develop a realistic and manageable work schedule; track job progress to achieve the intended estimated objectives; empower, mentor and train your personnel and become a better leader.


Thursday, Oct. 17


What Women Want: See Your Business Through a Woman’s Eyes

8:00 – 9:15 a.m.

Anne Obarski

Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases and 92% pass along information about deals or finds to others. This combination of purchasing power and influence is the reason women dominate the consumer economy. What are you doing to attract, satisfy and multiply women customers? Recognizing and listening to your “best customer” will ensure a successful and growing business. Learn to identify what and where she researches before she calls you; develop the communication skills needed to win her business; and define the 4 key experiences that will make a female customer a raving fan.



What You Can Learn from Shark Tank

12:30 – 1:45 p.m.

Leslie Shiner

Shark Tank is not only a popular TV show, but a great learning opportunity to help you make your business more successful. The questions the sharks ask are important for any business owner to be able to answer. Learn about improving profitability through better understanding of your pricing, including markups and margins. Be sure you are recognizing revenue appropriately so you can truly measure your profitability. Do you know how to make revenue projections? Do you have healthy financial statements? Learn how to make your company successful enough that the sharks would be willing to invest.


Friday, Oct. 18


Finding the Next Generation of Hardscape Installers

8:00 – 9:15 a.m.

Frank Gandora

Need strategies for finding and attracting the best that Millennials and Gen Z have to offer? We’ll share research from a recent industry study, identifying the key drivers motivating individuals to enter the hardscape industry and the types of messaging most likely to attract the people you want to hire. Plus, you’ll learn about the materials available to help you recruit, hire, and retain new workers.


Customer Service Workshop

10:00 – 11:15 a.m.

Gary Ross

This workshop looks at all types of customers and how we can serve them better and improve ourselves in the process. Participants will be provided a strong skill set, including in-person and over-the-phone techniques, dealing with difficult customers, generating return business and more.



HNA 2019

HNA 2019 early-bird registration is available for $15* (fees increase after Thursday, Sept. 5). HNA registration includes access to both HNA and GIE+EXPO indoor exhibits, access to the Hardscape House and 20-acre Outdoor Demonstration Area, entrance to two keynotes and the HNA Hardscape Project Awards Presentation, the opportunity to watch the HNA Installer Championship competition and three nights of free concerts at Fourth Street Live!



Other education opportunities at the trade show include Hardscape Demos, Pre-show Installer Courses and HNA Dealer Education.


For more information or to register, go to www.HardscapeNA.com.